I know this post may come across as controversial to some, but bear with me through this, if you will. Now I know that the world varies from the religious, to the agnostics, all the way to the atheists. Personally I find that many people can offer an enlightened way of thinking about something, no matter if they are religious, or not. Each religion has a small piece of validity to it whether we like it or not. The other night I was listening to a YouTuber sharing his thoughts on religion, and it got me thinking about this. No matter what religion you choose to follow or if you choose to follow it or not, you see it as the correct choice. If there’s one thing we humans know, that there isn’t a perfect formula to life. No way of living can ever prove to be the end all, be all solution, for every single person. It is simply because as humans, we are unique and do not share the same value systems as one another. Some may see a life of partying as the best life, others may view living a life of purity as the best life. Others may strive to find the darkest part of themselves, to truly connect to the pain and raw truth to the unknown that we all can’t describe, simply to find an inspiration we all only dream of. Though no matter what your desired outcome may be, you can always find validity in quotes from books, whether they be about religion, or purely enlightened words from a fictional story. We connect to the most random statements, and we run with them, never looking back. There is something about the particular phrase and imagery that comes along with it that resonates in us. It’s not necessarily what the words are saying, rather the empowerment that the words provide to a certain individual.
What I would like to call attention to is that there is not right or wrong way of living. No one has it figured out, and that’s ok. We don’t have to agree on the way we instinctually view things, because those instincts are helplessly ingrained in us. Some of us may find others with like minded thinking, and that is spectacular to find, but those we don’t agree with serve to challenge (not necessarily change) our thinking and allow us to develop our views more fully, whether we like it or not.
I don’t see it as a crime to read or listen to material that particularly resonates with you. Whether it be rap, country music, pop songs, or books on religion. It is similar to falling in love, you don’t choose to connect with that person, it’s just something that clicks into place suddenly, and you realize it’s something special to you. It’s not shameful to then go along with these feelings and make the choice to think with your heart rather than your mind. It’s your own journey through life, and others can offer guidance, but they should never provide unsolicited coddling.
The only truly shameful thing is when we allow our stark differences to interfere with how we treat others. It is one thing to believe that the proper way of living is to seem abrasive and intimidating at first glance to feel empowered, but it’s another to actually allow that to affect how you treat others around you. When those patterns seep into our treatment of others, that’s when the shame comes into play.
You should never violate someone’s autonomy so long as you shall live. The moment you start making the calls of who lives and who dies, who suffers and who harms (physically and psychologically), is the moment when it’s gone too far. At that point, then there is a reason to disagree and press for a universal code to living. Though that’s not what everything should be brought to. Everyone has the ability to respect others differences and walk on by. Let’s look at this analogy: If you witness someone smoking, sure you may not agree with it, but that doesn’t mean you have to tear it out of their mouth. You can attempt to reason with them and provide them with facts on how it could harm them, but ultimately it’s their choice of how and how long they want to live. If they want complications with their lungs, you can simply continue on your way and remove yourself from their secondhand cloud of smoke.
So I urge you all to not confine yourselves to one way of living, and be open to the possibility that you may resonate with simply a sliver of another mindset. Let’s stop trying to change one another, and accept that their is no universal way of life we should force one another to conform to.